By Thomas Brooks, (1608 - 1680)
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us--for we
THE PROOF OF THE POINT
For the proof of the point, take these few Scriptures: (Eph. 6:11), "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." The Greek word that is here rendered "wiles," is a notable emphatic word.
(1) It signifies such snares as are laid behind one, such treacheries as come upon one's back by surprise, it notes the methods or waylayings of that old subtle serpent, who, like Dan's adder "in the path," bites the heels of passengers, and thereby transfuses his venom to the head and heart (Gen. 49:17). The word signifies an ambush or stratagem of war, whereby the enemy sets upon a man at unawares.
(2) It signifies such snares as are set to catch one in one's road. A man walks in his road, and thinks not of it; but suddenly he is caught by thieves, or falls into a pit, etc.
(3) It signifies such as are purposely, artificially, and craftily set for the taking the prey at the greatest advantage that can be. The Greek signifies properly a waylaying, circumvention, or going about, as they do, who seek after their prey. Julian, by his craft, drew more away from the faith than all his persecuting predecessors could do by their cruelty. So does Satan more hurt in his sheep's skin than by roaring like a lion.
Take one scripture more for the proof of the point, and that is in 2 Tim. 2:26, "And that they might recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." The Greek word that is here rendered recover themselves, signifies to awaken themselves. The apostle alludes to one who is asleep or drunk, who is to be awakened and restored to his senses; and the Greek word that is here rendered "taken captive," signifies to be taken alive. The word is properly a military word, and signifies to be taken alive, as soldiers are taken alive in the wars, or as birds are taken alive and ensnared in the fowler's net. Satan has snares for the wise and snares for the simple; snares for hypocrites, and snares for the upright; snares for generous souls, and snares for timorous souls; snares for the rich, and snares for the poor; snares for the aged, and snares for youth. Happy are those souls that are not taken and held in the snares that he has laid!
Take one proof more, and then I will proceed to the opening of the point, and that is in Rev. 2:24, "But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak, I will put upon you no other burden but to hold fast until I come." These poor souls called their opinions the depths of God, when indeed they were the depths of Satan. You call your opinions depths, and so they areóbut they are such depths as Satan has brought out of hell. They are the whisperings and hissings of that serpent, not the inspirations of God.